Fun, Lifestyle, and Behavior

9 Awesome Waterless Shampoos for Cats – Reviews & Guide

If you’ve been searching for the best waterless shampoo for cats and you don’t have time to do a lot of research or you can’t pick one of the thousands of options available for sale, you’ve ended up in the right place. We’ve done a lot of research on the topic so that you don’t have to waste any time. In the end, we concluded that the first shampoo to consider is the Vet’s Best Waterless Cat Bath. This is a very practical solution that both soothes and moisturizes the cat’s dry skin and leaves it shiny and soft. It can be used on cats older than 12 weeks of age and it doesn’t affect topical flea products. If this one’s no longer available, it might be a good idea to consider another good option, the Wahl No Rinse Waterless Shampoo

RecommendationNotable Ingredients
Vet’s Best Waterless Cat BathAloe vera, vitamin E, neem oil, oatmeal
Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo Lavender, chamomile
Burt’s Bees Waterless Shampoo for CatsApple extract & honey

Best Waterless Shampoo for Cats (Reviews)

Finding the right waterless shampoo for your feline companion can be quite tricky nowadays. On the one hand, there are many options that you should bear in mind and also make sure that their ingredients are completely safe for cats. 

On the other, you’d have to go through a lot of consumer reports, too, to see whether the product you’re considering is actually effective. To save you some trouble, we have created a list of some of the most effective, save, and also critically acclaimed products in this particular category. 

1. Vet’s Best Waterless Cat Bath – No Rinse Waterless Dry Shampoo for Cats

Vet's Best Waterless Cat Bath | No Rinse Waterless Dry Shampoo for Cats | Natural Formula | 4 Ounces

The first thing that you always have to look at when you are in the market for a cat waterless shampoo is its ingredients. They are of utmost importance, especially if you have a younger cat or if you generally want to make sure that your feline friend stays happy and healthy even after the ‘bath’.

Well, you’ll be glad to know that the ingredients in the Vet’s Best shampoo are natural. The product contains aloe vera, vitamin E, as well as oatmeal, and these are all capable of improving the condition of your cat’s coat in terms of moisturizing and cleaning it. The neem oil in the formula is widely known for repelling insects, so it can act as a natural flea repellent. 

What is worth noting about this product is that it is to be used on cats that are 12 weeks old or older. It is not recommended for kittens. 

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2. Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo for Animals

Wahl Pet Friendly Waterless No Rinse Shampoo for Animals - Lavender & Chamomile for Cleaning, Conditioning, Detangling & Moisturizing Dogs, Cats & Horses - 7.1 Oz

If you have both a cat and a dog, you can safely utilize this product on both of your pets. Sure, there are differences in terms of dog and cat skin pH, but this one has a neutral pH that doesn’t cause excess sebum, dandruff, or any other dermatological issues. The shampoo is alcohol free and paraben free and it can be used on canines and felines, but also on horses.

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As expected, there is no rinsing necessary. The formula is calming and contains chamomile and lavender extracts, which are known for cleaning, conditioning, and naturally moisturizing the coats of animals. Lavender is also a scent that fleas don’t like, so that’s a bonus.  

Additionally, you might want to know that the shampoo is available in a different formula, as well, containing coconut and lime verbena. That one contains oatmeal and its purpose is providing your pet with itch relief and it also moisturizes dry skin. 

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3. Burt’s Bees for Cats Natural Waterless Shampoo with Apple and Honey | Cat Waterless Shampoo Spray

Burt's Bees for Cats Natural Waterless Shampoo with Apple & Honey | Cat Waterless Shampoo Spray, 10 oz

The Burt’s Bees waterless shampoo for cats is another that you should give a shot since it’s capable of meeting and even exceeding your expectations. First of all, it’s made with high-quality ingredients and it has vitamins, amino acids, as well as minerals which all nourish the cat’s coat. 

You can use the product on a regular basis no matter if you have an adult cat or a kitten. The mild spray is pH balanced, so it works on all age categories. Since the Burt’s Bees alternative is recommended by vets and it contains no artificial colors, harsh chemicals, or fragrances, it’s safe and worth considering.

After going through some of the reviews acquired by this product, I couldn’t help noticing that there haven’t been too many complaints. In fact, most customers say that the cats aren’t bothered by the product at all even if they normally don’t like spray noises. 

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4. John Paul Pet Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs and Cats, Sensitive Skin Formula

John Paul Pet Oatmeal Waterless Foam Shampoo for Dogs and Cats, Sensitive Skin Formula, 8.5-Ounce

This is another product that should be given some thought since it contains pure oatmeal, chamomile, as well as aloe. It’s uniquely formulated to get rid of the oil and dirt that might be present in your cat’s fur. All you have to do is apply the foam-like shampoo and then use a comb or a brush to get rid of the dirt. 

The sweet almond oil content also makes a difference when it comes to how your cat’s coat looks since it is capable of conditioning the pet’s fur. What’s neat about this option is that it is made in the United States with all-natural botanical extracts. That should put your mind at ease in terms of whether it’s safe or not. 

Best of all, this waterless shampoo has been tested on humans to see if it is pH balanced for pets. Pretty neat, right? Based on the feedback that this choice has received, it seems to be great for multiple baths per week and for pets who have sensitive skin.

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5. Bodhi Dog Waterless All Natural Dry Shampoo for Dogs or Cats

New Waterless Dog Shampoo | All Natural Dry Shampoo for Dogs or Cats No Rinse Required | 100% Non-Toxic with Natural Extract | Professional Grade Treatment - Made in USA - 1 Bottle 8oz (240ml)

The best thing about this shampoo is that it is extremely gentle, which means that it is highly recommended for pets who have skin sensitivity and allergies. It is all natural, so it doesn’t contain any detergent or alcohol and it is 100% non-toxic. 

It’s a safer alternative compared to other waterless dry shampoos as those contain harsh chemicals such as parabens, SLS, sulfates, or paraben — and the Bodhi Dog choice doesn’t have any of those nasty ingredients.

The shampoo is available in three different scents – lavender, oatmeal, and lemongrass – so you can choose the one that you like the most. All of the fragrances are safe and natural, so you don’t have to worry about this formula being harsh on your pet or your hands as you apply it. 

Additionally, you might want to know that the product is made in the U.S. using eco-friendly methods. 

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6. Furminator deShedding Rinse Free Foaming Shampoo for Cats

Furminator Super Shine Ultra Premium Shampoo - 8.5 OZ/250 mL

The Furminator waterless shampoo is among the most popular choices that we have come across, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s not just a regular shampoo since it can effectively prevent hairballs in your cat without you having to give your feline friend a bath.

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There is no rinsing needed. All you have to do is to massage the foaming shampoo into your cat’s coat. The spray contains omega fatty acids as well as hydrolyzed plant proteins and the best thing about it is that it doesn’t have any chemical dyes or parabens. 

It’s also worth noting that this product contains a shed control complex that helps reduce shedding. Some of the cat guardians that have reviewed the product say that it smells great and apparently makes cats’ coats shiny. 

Since there have been some issues reported with this option, we would advise against using too much of it. Use as little as possible once every several days instead of spraying a lot of it on your cat’s coat.

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7. Breezytail Waterless Soothing Wash Cat No Rinse Dry Shampoo

Breezytail Waterless Soothing Wash - Full Transparency | Dog No Rinse Dry Shampoo | Cat No Rinse Dry Shampoo | Waterless Shampoo for Dogs, Puppies, Other Pets | Removing Pet Odor | Skin & Coat Care

Although this one is considerably more expensive compared to some of the others on our list, it might be worth noting that this product is one of the few ones that we have found to be actually veterinarian formulated. 

It’s a no-rinse foam cleanser that works for the cat’s skin and coat and that contains allantoin and panthenol and a mix of over 6 botanicals that nourish the skin and provide your pet with much-needed itch relief. The best thing about this product is that its ingredients are safe for the cat. 

This formula doesn’t contain any mineral oils, parabens, petrolatum, propylene glycol, SLS, or SLES. 

Some of the folks that have decided to try this waterless shampoo seem to have nothing but favorable things to say about it. It seems that it’s easy to use and has a nice scent and it does wonders even on pets that have sensitive skin. 

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8. Furminator My Furst Waterless Shampoo

Furminator My Furst Waterless Shampoo for Kittens (8.5 oz)

One of the biggest challenges of cat guardians is finding the right products for a kitten. As you might know, getting a waterless flea shampoo for cats that are young is almost impossible since kittens are extremely sensitive to a variety of ingredients. 

So while this one isn’t going to kill any fleas, it is a gentle formula that can be used on kittens and puppies older than 6 weeks. The shampoo is enriched with aloe vera and it can clean the pet’s coat and reduce odors in a timely manner. It doesn’t contain any artificial colors, chemical dyes, or parabens, so it’s safe to use. 

From what we have gathered by going through some of the reviews garnered by this product, it seems to have a pretty intense fragrance. That’s why we would advise you to avoid spraying too much on the cat’s coat.

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9. Begley’s Natural No Rinse Waterless Pet Shampoo

Begley's Natural No Rinse Waterless Pet Shampoo, Bathless Cleaning, Deodorizing, and Odor Removal for a Shiny, Fresh Smelling Coat - Effective for Dogs, Puppies, and Cats - Fresh Lavender Scent

The all-natural formula in this shampoo is definitely worth writing home about as it doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients – no synthetic fragrance, parabens, chlorine, formaldehyde, phthalates, triclosan, dyes, or caustic substances. This means that the shampoo can’t irritate you as you apply the product, but neither can it cause harm to your precious feline buddy. 

Since it’s so safe, you can liberally spray it on your cat’s coat and then wipe the area with a damp cloth. Even if it’s so safe, it’s not a good idea to spray it directly on your cat’s head for fear of it getting into the animal’s eyes. 

This product is available in four different scents – lavender, oatmeal mango, tea tree, and citrus. The shampoo is plant-based, biodegradable, and sustainable and it’s said to work better than its non-green counterparts. 

As for feedback, some of the pet parents who have expressed their views about it say that it’s safe and well tolerated by their lovely companions. 

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Waterless shampoo for cats – FAQs

What if my cat ingests no rinse waterless shampoo for cats?

If you pick a product that contains only natural ingredients, it might be less dangerous to your cat if she swallows the formula. However, we advise you to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible if this happens, as sometimes quick intervention can make all the difference. 

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If you have checked the label and your waterless shampoo contains dangerous chemicals (dyes, artificial colors, parabens, formaldehyde and others), take your cat to the closest vet clinic right away. Otherwise, your cat could suffer from an intoxication. 

Vet's Best Waterless Cat Bath | No Rinse Waterless Dry Shampoo for Cats | Natural Formula | 4 Ounces

How to use waterless shampoo for cats?

Most of the products that we have come across are sprayed directly onto the cat’s coat and then you use either a damp cloth or a brush to get it into the fur. In fact, this is the reason why the shampoo has to be as safe and natural as possible — it remains on the coat and the cat will ingest it while grooming herself. 

Generally, giving pets baths is frowned upon. Dogs can be given baths more often than cats because the latter groom themselves. So, our recommendation would be to use the no rinse shampoo once a month or even less often, if your cat’s doing a good job. 

Vet's Best Waterless Cat Bath | No Rinse Waterless Dry Shampoo for Cats | Natural Formula | 4 Ounces

What is the best waterless shampoo for cats?

I don’t like to recommend a specific shampoo because cats are different. The perfect waterless shampoo for cats is one that doesn’t contain any dangerous ingredients and no fragrance. 

Cats are extremely sensitive to scents (because their sense of smell is so well developed) so that’s why it might be a good idea to go for a natural and scentless shampoo. 

Vet's Best Flea and Tick Waterless Bath Foam for Cats | Flea Treatment Dry Shampoo for Cats | Flea Killer with Certified Natural Oils | 5 Ounces

Can you use dog shampoo on a cat?

It depends on the product. Some of the shampoos we’ve stumbled upon are pH balanced and can be used both on dogs and on cats, but the pH of these two species is different. Cats are carnivores whereas dogs are less so, so their skin pH is less acidic than that of cats. 

If you use a shampoo that’s strictly marketed for dogs, it might make your cat’s coat a little worse — causing excess sebum or dandruff, for example. Make sure that you pick either a shampoo specifically made for cats or one for both species. 

Mooncat Waterless Cat Shampoo [Easy to Use Dry Cat Shampoo] Suitable for All Cat Types. Contains Safe Ingredients - Alcohol Free - Parabens Free - No Water or Rinses Needed (5 oz)

Waterless shampoo for cats – Buying Guide

Here are some of the most important things that you should consider when making the choice between one product and another.

1. Form

Waterless shampoos can be foams, sprays, or powder cleansers. Most of the common ones that you are likely to come across are foaming sprays. These usually have to be wiped with a damp cloth after being applied. 

Spray products (unless they have no aerosol) aren’t very popular with cats or dogs. They tend to make a lot of noise, which frightens our feline buddies. But there are sprays that come with atomizers that don’t make that much noise, so they might not bother the cat.

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Powder cleansers have to be sprinkled on the cat’s coat, but many of them aren’t that safe. Even if you do brush your cat’s coat extensively, some of the powder can remain on the surface, which means that your cat is going to swallow some when he/she grooms the next time. If you go for this type, try to eliminate as much of the excess powder as possible. 

2. Purpose

Some cats really aren’t keen on water, which is why a waterless shampoo might be your only solution. 

This is also a good choice for elderly pets, when small accidents happen (vomit or urine), or when you are traveling and you need to clean your cat just a bit. If just one area of your cat’s body is dirty, you can use this type of shampoo rather than giving her a traumatizing bath, instead. 

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3. Ingredients 

This is by far the most important aspect to keep in mind when shopping for waterless shampoo for cats. The formula needs to be as natural and clean as possible, so it shouldn’t contain any artificial dyes, synthetic fragrances, or dangerous substances such as formaldehyde or anything else. 

Our advice to you is to take a good look at the ingredients before ordering the shampoo. Keep in mind that you are both protecting your cat but also yourself if you get a safe product. 

Besides, cats’ bodies are so much smaller and fragile compared to ours, which is why they can’t put up with the aggression of a toxic ingredient. Even a small dosage of a toxic substance can significantly harm a cat – it might make a human feel a little sick, but it could cause a lot of harm on a cat’s health. 

This post contains affiliate links on some of the images. You can support this blog by trying out the products recommended in this article. 

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Cristina is a licensed veterinarian who has been a cat owner since she was 12. She is passionate about giving useful advice to pet owners across the world. Her favorite topics range from pathology and novel therapies to infectious diseases and animal welfare. Her work has been featured in many online publications from The Pet Friendly House to Alpha Paw, Animal Wellness Magazine, and

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